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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

How Viking Ocean Cruises Is Creating a New Cruising Category

While sailing on Viking Ocean Cruises’ newest Viking Sea, it’s immediately apparent that both the line and the ship are something special. In fact, the cruising team behind the successful Viking River Cruises brand is crafting a whole new category in the ocean industry.

When the Viking Star launched last year, a new ocean cruise line was born, and Viking is now well on its way to a fleet of at least six ocean ships on order through 2020. What the line does very well is exactly what it does on the river: provide high quality at a great value.

The line does not espouse to be a luxury brand to avoid setting the bar too high, but it comes extremely close, besting other upscale lines like Azamara Club Cruises and Oceania Cruises with newer ships and a luxury pedigree. Ask around, and you’ll find many staff that came from the upper echelon of cruising. The Viking Sea’s captain came from Crystal Cruises and its general manager from Seabourn Cruise Line, and the line’s director of culinary development actually came from aforementioned Azamara and Oceania.

Both the hardware and software compete with luxury lines at a lower cost, and therein a new category of cruising is established, somewhere just shy of, say, Silversea Cruises. For one, the ship features a harmoniously casual design that accentuates the destination like a frame draws a viewer’s eye to art. Key to its success is lots of outward-facing glass, floor-to-ceiling windows that cleverly open The Restaurant and World Cafe buffet for al fresco dining and a spectacular two-deck observation lounge – always a welcome feature that is sadly less common these days.

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